When was the last time you took up an activity, a hobby or a past-time that required you to buy some new trousers?
I think this might be a solid, independent, international measure of how adventurous you are; measured in “trousers”, calculated as the average number of pairs of trousers you’ve purchased for a new, specific purpose over the past 10 years*.
If you’re anything like me, you will score low on the trouser scale. I can actually only think of a single addition to my collection in recent years – some long shorts bought to enable a brief tennis career in Bahrain (0.1t).
That was before today… today I took a leap forward with the arrival of some cycling attire (0.2t).
I realise I’m slightly naïve as far as cycling technology is concerned, but I hadn’t appreciated how painful and complicated cycling can be…
The complications are everywhere… gear ratios, pedal torque, wattage, ride height, on-board computers, tyre pressures, cadence, training regimes, etc. etc. etc. I definitely wouldn’t describe it as “plug and play”. More a plug, fiddle, check the plug, fiddle some more, adjust, and eventually, if you’re lucky you get to play… and that’s where the pain starts!
I am recovering from a Heart Attack. I am not yet even close to being able to think about being ready for the level of exertion serious cyclists might “enjoy” on a regular basis. Instead, I am trying to build a level of base fitness from which I can start to build in due course, keeping my heart-rate below my upper limit of 118 bpm at all times!
No! So far, for me the pain hasn’t come from burning thighs or lungs screaming out for air. For me, the pain has come from my hands, my feet and my derrière… and it’s really not very comfortable!
So far I have not been able to sit on the bike for more than 20 minutes without taking a break. My hands hurt from leaning on them, my (borrowed) shoes are half a size too small, cramping my bug toes, and my behind, just hurts. Well, sometimes it hurts, sometimes it goes numb… I’m not sure which is more disconcerting!
Training is not enough… preparing for training was required… hence my new trousers. I have dug deep into my pockets to invest in gloves, shoes and the shiny new padded trews. Hopefully the new additions will transform my cycling experience to whole new level… of comfort!!!
So the increase in my trouser count is less a result of my adventurousness and more a matter of medical necessity. I should point out that so far I haven’t even left the comfort of my own garage. Heaven only knows what I’ll encounter when I hit the open road!!!
* Multiple pairs of trousers for the same purpose count as one.